Tuesday, May 03, 2011

death you shouldn't be~ thoughts on holy week

death for me is not "sweet aya i want to kiss you til they're all gone" (not that i don't love this song or the man who sings it or even the idea of coming to terms with death* see note below) rather death is that thing that has stalked me from childhood taking those i love away from me. she is waiting every time i sit in my car or step into an elevator or fly in an airplane. i see her hiding in the broken body of my father in the trips to the doctor with my best friend and in my mother who has been deeply marked and changed by her near escape from death. i do not mean to be morbid but in light of this holy week and events surrounding it, i find that death has been on my mind.

what strikes me is the fact that death isn't natural...it is this thing that was never meant to be and yet has entered into the world because of our brokenness and pain. it is the manifestation of the relational bifrication that has happened. i believe this is why we hate the idea of death it's that thing that we all have to experience and yet know that it isn't really suppose to be ours. it shouldn't be and yet here we are having to bumble through it. sometimes death, like the death of a bad relationship, can be a good thing. i know for me the death of my life in seattle was the catalyst that finally got me to move to los angeles and the LIFE that was mine, yet i also still ache and bear the scars of those who i have loved dearly who have died, and those relationships which were cherished and yet needed to be removed for various reasons. and so when she comes snooping close i find that i just want to hit lady death over the head and throw rocks at her until she leaves.

as a child growing up i had this overwhelming fear of death (in part because of being asked if i was willing to die for Jesus-really people NOT a valid question for a five year old-but that is for another time...in therapy) i was especially afraid of being tortuously killed and of my family all being killed and i would be left. i remember many times trying desperately to fall asleep in the car or wanting to just drive all night because i could see everyone and we were all close. ironically the place i felt safest in as a child became the space of great loss at a teenage...the car. and so death plays tricks and does a bate and switch.  

while death is not natural i must come to terms with her...and so i think this must be why one is called to in part partake in the sacrament of communion and why also we go through the cycle of death during holy week. for two days we sit at the foot of the cross, bearing the uncertainty of the first holy week, the one you have followed and loved is gone forever it seems and the world has gone black and dark and demonic with his loss...but then there is easter and light breaks forth like the man coming out of the cave in plato. yet the journey the darkness is part of the light...as lewis says the joy now is part of the pain later. and so it is with death the sorrow of loss and death now is what makes recreation and restoration of the whole of creation so sweet when it happens.

*one of my FAVORITE parts of both the graphic novel and film V for vendetta is the rain/baptism scene where evie finally is released from her fear of death and in turn is given life....it seems so much like the early idea of baptism in the christian church...that one is freed from the fear of death to be able to live life fully to be free to live a vibrant life no longer marked by a fear of death because you have already faced death and died*

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